COVID Positive Hospital And Nursing Home Staff Can Return To Work To Help Solve Staffing Problems

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Rhode Island’s Department of Health has said that hospital and nursing home staff who test positive for COVID-19 can return to work to solve a staffing crisis if needed.

Quarantine and isolation guidance updated by the state’s health department on December 31 said there were no restrictions “with prioritization considerations (e.g., asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic)” in a crisis situation for vaccinated and unvaccinated staffers.

“Crisis staffing means there are no longer enough staff to provide safe patient/resident care,” the memo said.

The memo from Rhode Island matched the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance from December 23, which allows healthcare workers who test positive for COVID-19 to work in a crisis situation.

All healthcare workers in Rhode Island were required from October 1 to be vaccinated, the state said unless they had a medical exemption.

Rhode Island’s health department said the state’s three-day average for positive COVID-19 cases was 3,402 cases a day.

The nation rang in the new year by facing a surge in cases led by the highly transmissible Omicron variant, and it’s averaging over 280,000 COVID-19 cases a day, CDC data from last week indicated.